Welcome to this website about Victor Sloan

Victor Sloan's work is included in Troubles Art

Troubles Art 
Nerve Visual Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland  

19 January - 28 April 2019

Holding the Rope, Lurgan County Armagh, silver gelatin print, toner and gouache, 58 cms x 58 cms, from the 'Drumming' series,1986 

Drawn from the art collection at National Museums NI, the Troubles Art exhibition provides a broad representation of responses to the Troubles by a range of artists from Northern Ireland and beyond. The subjects, themes and meanings of the works are diverse and offer the perspectives of the artists themselves.
Some works are direct responses to violence inflicted on innocent victims. Some are shaped by the social and political outlook of the artists. Others capture visual aspects of conflict and division. Together they evoke a variety of experiences and emotions and reflect on the causes, impact and complexity of the Troubles.
The exhibition explores a range of themes which are universal to conflict – such as suffering and loss, violence and destruction, imprisonment, sectarianism, traditions, territory, and life in the midst of turmoil. The unique perspectives of artists themselves offer opportunities to consider the Troubles and their effects in ways other than through history and politics.
The exhibition forms a part of Making the Future, a major new cultural heritage project from Nerve Centre, National Museums NI, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Linen Hall Library. Making the Future is a €1.8m project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV programme that will explore the legacy of the past and create a vision for future change.
Troubles Art deals with themes of violence and division and their impact on individuals and society. If you have been affected by any of the content in this exhibition please contact WAVE Trauma Centre, 028 7126 6655.

Nerve Centre
5-6 Magazine Street, Derry~Londonderry  BT48 6HJ
Tel: +(44) 028 71 260 562  |  Fax: +(44) 028 71 371 738  |  email: info@nervecentre.org web: https://nervecentre.org


Victor Sloan's works are included in Crossing Lines.

Crossing Lines, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda 
and the F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge 

23 November 2018 - 26 January 2019

Sham Fight (with Sword), Scarva, silver gelatin print, toners, dyes, inks, bleach and gouache, 43cms x 56cms, 1992

This joint exhibition runs concurrently in both galleries from 23 November 2018 to 26 January 2019. It explores ideas of dissent, dissonance, and difference in art and society; embracing change, inspiring hope, and the important role that art and artists have in challenging traditional thinking, provoking reflection, insight and fostering new ideas that often defy the norm.
Among the artists exhibiting are Duncan Campbell, Joy Gerrard, Stuart Brisley, FE McWilliam, Victor Sloan, Susan Philipsz and Maud Sulter; with artwork selected from Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Gifted Collection (2012), National Museums, NI and artist's studios.
Exhibiting Artists: John Behan, Paul Bowan & Andre Stitt, Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, Duncan Campbell, Tarik Chawdry, Jack Crabtree, Jack Cudworth, Anthony Davies, Rita Duffy, Joyce Edwards, Joy Gerrard, Sunil Gupta, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sonya Hanney & Adam Dade, Siobhan Hapaska, John Benton-Harris, Mike Hogg, Bob Jardine, Gavin Jantjes, Tam Joseph, Peter Kennard, John Kindness, Permindar Kaur, Terry Loane, Olga Magliocco, Alice Maher, Colin Middleton, Fionn McCann, Declan McGonagle, F.E. McWilliam, Brian O’Doherty, Jack Packenham, Tony Phillips, Susan Philipsz, Bridget Riley, Nigel Rolfe, Dermot Seymour, Victor Sloan, Bob and Roberta Smith, Maud Sulter, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, Mitra Tabrizan, Annie Wright.

Highlanes Gallery, Laurence Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland
W. www.highlanes.ie E. info@highlanes.ie T. + 353 041 9803311
Highlanes Gallery is open 6 days a week, Monday – Saturday, 10.30am-5.00pm, closed Sunday

FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio, 200 Newry Road, Banbridge, Co. Down, BT32 3NB
W. www.femcwilliam.com E. info@femcwilliam.com T. + 0044 (0)28 40623322
FE McWilliam Gallery & Studio is open 6 days a week, Monday – Saturday, 10.00am-5.00pm, closed Sunday



Belfast Exposed are proud to be producing 50 signed limited edition reproductions of the original Belfast Zoo III by Victor Sloan, one of Ireland’s major visual artists.

These unique high-quality reproductions are printed on ‘Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta Satin 300gsm’ archival paper. The dimensions of the prints are 17” x 17”, which includes a 3.5” white border. The prints are £125 and come with a certificate of authentication.
To purchase one of these exclusive artworks, please contact Conor by email at c.obrien@belfastexposed.org or by phone at 
+44 (0)28 9023 0965. 

As part of Late Night Art, on Thursday 6th December 7pm-9pm, Victor will be available in Belfast Exposed Gallery for a special signing event. Due to Victor’s popularity, it is anticipated these amazing prints will be in high demand.

Belfast Exposed Photography
23 Donegall Street
Belfast BT1 2FF

Tel: +44 (0)28 9023 0965

Victor Sloan started his art practice as an abstract painter. He had always used the camera but it was not until 1981 that he began to use the medium systematically. However, he had no intention of producing ‘pure’ photographs for exhibition purposes.

“I want a photograph to say more than a photograph usually says. It’s not just a photograph in a magazine. It’s a statement… something personal. I want to make people to look at the image in a different way; see behind the image. People tend to dismiss photographs as just being photographs.” (1)

In 1983 Victor Sloan paid a visit to Belfast Zoo with his children. He brought a camera to take some family snaps, but he ended up taking a different, more troubled and troubling kind of photograph. He found himself standing looking in sadness and dismay at the chimpanzees trapped behind a pane of scratched, scarred, battered perspex, its cloudy surface smeared with ice cream and marked by graffiti. As he observes now: "Someone said that you can tell a lot about a society by the state of its zoo."

There and then he decided to take photographs of the animals. But rather than trying to isolate them from their context, he deliberately viewed them entirely in terms of their context. The chimpanzees are virtually silhouettes, distanced, tenuous presences behind grubby perspex. The glare of the flash bounces uncomfortably back at us and the images have a worn, battered look about them.

The chimpanzees in their cage are on show. The contemporary debate on the ethics of zoos relates to the contested point where elucidation shades over into entertainment, and to the specious presumption of superiority, all issues pertinent, as it happens, to human societies. It also touches on the conditions of captivity. The thing about animals confined to zoos is that their lives have, particularly in the past, been reduced to impoverished, repetitive parodies of their existence in the wild. Sloan photographed various kinds of animals in the zoo, but felt himself drawn back to the images of chimps because, as he says, we relate to monkeys, we see ourselves in them. The caged animal, its life recast and displayed as a theatrical, reductive parody of itself, is a metaphor for the individual immersed in the codified, ritualised world of a social and cultural framework. (2)

While it is true that the artist disclaims any social or political intention at this juncture – it was to be a while before he consciously began to interrogate his images – nevertheless, a number of these images function metaphorically as statements about Northern Ireland. For example Belfast Zoo I, reveals the legend ‘I.R.A.’ scraped into the perspex, encouraging a reading which would suggest that the Northern Irish are trapped by the I.R.A., like the monkeys in the cage. They can stare outwards but are incapable of effecting change: they are prisoners in their own society. (1)

1: Extract from Marking the North - the Work of Victor Sloan, by Brian McAvera, published by Open Air, Dublin and Impressions, York, England

2: Extract from A Broken Surface: Victor Sloan's Photographic Work by Aidan Dunne in Victor Sloan: Selected Works 1980-2000, published by Ormeau Baths Gallery and Orchard Gallery, January, 2001.


Some of Victor Sloan's works: 
Click on image